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Frequently Asked Questions on the Fare Restructuring and Increase

Local Bus
Express Bus
Rapid Transit
Water Transportation
Commuter Rail
Transfers
Passes
Tokens

Local Bus

How much does it cost to ride a local bus?

Customers paying for a local bus with cash-on-board or a CharlieTicket pay $1.50. Customers paying with a CharlieCard pay $1.25. The local bus monthly pass price is $40.00 and is good for all local bus service.

How much is the zoned local bus fare on Routes 34E, 52, 62, 76, 134, 136, 137, 230, 240, 350, and 435?

There are no longer any zone fare boundaries. All former zoned local bus routes now pay the local bus fare of $1.50 with cash-on-board or a CharlieTicket or $1.25 with a CharlieCard. The local bus monthly pass price of $40.00 will cover all former zoned local bus routes.

Will there still be a free bus fare and free transfer to the Orange Line on bus routes from Dudley Square or Egleston Square?

All free fares have been eliminated. Customers traveling from Dudley Square or Egleston Square and paying with cash-on-board or a CharlieTicket now pay the local bus fare of $1.50 plus the full, $2.00 rapid transit fare to transfer to the Orange Line. Customers paying with a CharlieCard pay $1.25 for their local bus fare and $0.45 to transfer to the Orange Line.

Can I use dollar bills to pay my bus fare?

Yes, the new bus fareboxes accept dollar bills. However, the cash-on-board or CharlieTicket fare is $1.50 compared to a $1.25 fare when paying with a CharlieCard.

Will I still be able to transfer for free between local bus routes?

Customers paying with a CharlieTicket or a CharlieCard may transfer for free between local buses for up to two hours after paying their fare. If your one-way trip includes more than two buses, you can transfer as many times as necessary for free. However, the transfer only applies to one-way, and not round, trips; i.e., two trips in the opposite direction on the same bus route do not receive the free transfer. Customers paying their local bus fare with cash-on-board no longer receive free bus transfers.

What is the fare for bus service that temporarily replaces rail service, such as on the Mattapan High-Speed Line?

Temporary replacement bus service costs the same as local bus service: $1.50 when paid with cash-on-board or a CharlieTicket, $1.25 when paid with a CharlieCard, and $40.00 for a local bus monthly pass.

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Express Bus

How much does it cost to ride an express bus?

There are now two express bus zones: inner express and outer express. The inner express bus fare is $3.50 when paid with cash-on-board or a CharlieTicket and $2.80 when paid with a CharlieCard. The inner express bus monthly pass price is $89.00. The outer express bus fare is $5.00 when paid with cash-on-board or a CharlieTicket and $4.00 when paid with a CharlieCard. The outer express bus monthly pass price is $129.00.

Which routes are inner versus outer express?

Inner express bus routes are the following: 170, 325, 326, 351, 424, 426, 428, 441, 442, 448, 449, 450, 455, 459, 501, 503, 502, 504, 553, 554, 556, and 558. Outer express bus routes are the following: 352, 354, 355, 500, and 505.

How much does it cost to ride the North Shore express bus routes to or from downtown Boston?

All of the North Shore express bus routes fall under the inner express bus zone. The inner express bus fare is $3.50 when paid with cash-on-board or a CharlieTicket and $2.80 when paid with a CharlieCard. The inner express bus monthly pass price is $89.00. However, the express fare is only paid if you travel through one of the Harbor tunnels or cross over the Tobin Bridge. You pay only the local bus fare for all other travel on these routes.

How do I know whether to pay the local or express fare on an express bus route?

You only pay the express bus fare if you travel on/through the express portion of the route: I-93 for 300-series routes, the harbor tunnels/Tobin Bridge for 400-series routes, or the Masspike for 500-series routes and Route 170. You pay the local bus fare for all other travel on express bus routes.

Can I still buy 10-ride express bus tickets?

No, 10-ride express bus tickets have been eliminated.

Can I use Link passes on express buses like I did with the Combo and Combo+ passes?

No, the Link pass cannot be used on express bus routes, nor can it be used to pay a portion of the express bus fare. Inner express and outer express bus monthly passes do allow unlimited travel on rapid transit and local buses, however.

Will I still receive a discount on express bus fares if I have a local bus pass?

No, the local pass cannot be used on express bus routes, nor can it be used to pay a portion of the express bus fare. Inner express and outer express bus monthly passes do allow unlimited travel on local buses and rapid transit, however.

Can I ride rapid transit or local buses with my express bus monthly pass?

Yes, your express bus monthly pass also gives you unlimited travel on the local bus and rapid transit networks.

Will the 500 express bus route be an inner or outer express route?

The evening trips that used to run as Route 500 between Newton Corner and Riverside via Washington Street have been re-numbered as Route 555. Route 555 is an inner express bus route. Route 500 is an outer express bus route and does not stop at Newton Corner.

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Rapid Transit

How much does it cost to ride rapid transit?

There are several types of rapid transit. The Red, Orange, and Blue Line fare is $2.00 when paid with a CharlieTicket and $1.70 when paid with a CharlieCard. The Green Line fare for all services (including surface outbound travel) is also $2.00 when paid with cash-on-board or a CharlieTicket and $1.70 when paid with a CharlieCard. The Silver Line Waterfront fare equals the rapid transit fare, or $2.00 when paid with cash-on-board or a CharlieTicket and $1.70 when paid with a CharlieCard. The Silver Line Washington Street fare equals the local bus fare, or $1.50 when paid with cash or a CharlieTicket and $1.25 when paid with a CharlieCard.

Do I have to pay higher fares at Braintree, Quincy Adams, and Quincy Center?

No, there is now one price for all travel on the rail rapid transit system: $2.00 when paid with a CharlieTicket and $1.70 when paid with a CharlieCard.

Do I have to pay exit fares at Braintree and Quincy Adams?

No, there are no longer any exit fares.

What is the Braintree to North Quincy local fare?

Travel between Braintree and North Quincy on the Red Line is the same as travel anywhere on the system: $2.00 when paid with a CharlieTicket and $1.70 when paid with a CharlieCard.

Do I have to pay higher fares on the “D” Branch on the Green Line between Reservoir and Fenway?

No, all “D” Branch customers now pay the rapid transit fare: $2.00 when paid with cash or a CharlieTicket and $1.70 when paid with a CharlieCard.

Do I have to pay higher fares on the “D” Branch on the Green Line between Riverside and Chesnut Hill?

No, all “D” Branch customers now pay the rapid transit fare: $2.00 when paid with cash or a CharlieTicket and $1.70 when paid with a CharlieCard.

Can I still buy 10-ride Green Line “D” Branch tickets?

No, discounted 10-ride Green Line “D” Branch tickets have been eliminated. However, you may store as many trips worth of value as you wish on your CharlieTicket or CharlieCard.

What is the Newton local fare?

Travel between Riverside and Chestnut Hill on the Green Line is the same as travel anywhere on the system: $2.00 when paid with cash or a CharlieTicket and $1.70 when paid with a CharlieCard.

What is the surface Green Line fare on the “B”, “C”, “D”, and “E” Branches?

Surface Green Line customers now pay the rapid transit fare regardless of direction: $2.00 when paid with cash or a CharlieTicket and $1.70 when paid with a CharlieCard.

Can I still ride for free outbound from Green Line surface stops?

No. Surface Green Line customers now pay the rapid transit fare regardless of direction: $2.00 when paid with cash or a CharlieTicket and $1.70 when paid with a CharlieCard.

What is the Mattapan High-Speed Line fare?

The fare for current bus replacement service equals the local bus fare: $1.50 when paid with cash or a CharlieTicket and $1.25 when paid with a CharlieCard. When operation of the Mattapan High-Speed Line resumes, the fare will equal the rapid transit fare: $2.00 when paid with cash or a CharlieTicket and $1.70 when paid with a CharlieCard.

How can I get my fare discount or pass if I am a senior, student, or person with disabilities?

Seniors and persons with disabilities must use either an ID badge or a special encoded CharlieCard to receive the discounted fares and pass prices. Students receive special CharlieTickets from their schools that are encoded to allow travel at certain times of day at the discounted rates. Seniors, students, and persons with disabilities cannot receive their fare discount unless they pay using their special CharlieCard, ID badge, or CharlieTicket.

What pass should I use to ride rapid transit?

The LinkPass permits travel on all rapid transit lines (including at Braintree, Quincy Adams, and Quincy Center on the Red Line and at Riverside to Chestnut Hill on the Green Line "D" Branch) as well as unlimited travel on any local bus for $59.00. Former Subway-only pass holders should now purchase the LinkPass.

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Water Transportation

How much does ferry service cost?

There are two types of ferries. The inner harbor ferry fare is $1.70, and the monthly pass price is $59.00. The pass is only available on a CharlieTicket as a Zone 1A monthly pass. The ferries to Hingham, Quincy, and Hull have a fare of $6.00 and a monthly pass price of $198.00.

Will I still receive fare discounts if I purchase ferry tickets in bulk?

Yes, the 60-ride ticket on the inner harbor ferry costs $91.80. A 10-ride ticket on the Hingham, Quincy, and Hull ferries costs $54.00.

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Commuter Rail

What happened to the commuter rail zone 1B fare zone and pass?

All stations in commuter rail zone 1B were merged with zone 1A. The zone 1A fare of $1.70 and monthly pass price of $59.00 now include travel to all former zone 1B stations. The pass is only available on a CharlieTicket as a Zone 1A monthly pass.

Can I use rapid transit or local buses with a Zone 1A monthly pass?

Yes, your Zone 1A monthly pass also gives you unlimited travel on the local bus and rapid transit networks.

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Transfers

How much does it cost to transfer between local bus and rapid transit?

Customers paying with a CharlieCard pay a total of $1.70 for their entire local bus plus rapid transit trip. Customers paying with cash-on-board or a CharlieTicket receive no discount when transferring between bus and rapid transit. They pay the full local bus fare of $1.50 plus the full rapid transit fare of $2.00. The monthly LinkPass also allows you to transfer between local bus and rapid transit for $59.00. 1-Day and 7-Day LinkPasses are also available for $9.00 and $15.00 respectively. These also allow for unlimited travel and transfers between local bus and rapid transit.

Can I use a monthly LinkPass to travel between downtown Boston and Commuter Rail Zone 1A?

No, special Zone 1A monthly passes are available instead, but cost the same as a Link Pass ($59.00).

Can I use a monthly LinkPass to travel on the inner harbor ferry?

No, special Zone 1A monthly passes are available instead, but cost the same as a Link Pass ($59.00).

Can I use rapid transit or local buses with a Zone 1A monthly pass?

Yes, your Zone 1A monthly pass also gives you unlimited travel on the local bus and rapid transit networks.

How will the fareboxes and fare gates know to only charge me a total of $1.70 when I transfer between local bus and rapid transit?

You can only receive the local bus plus rapid transit transfer benefit with a CharlieCard. When you board a bus with a CharlieCard and pay $1.25, the cost to transfer to rapid transit is $0.45 ($0.45 is the “step-up” in price to the CharlieCard rapid transit fare of $1.70). If you board rapid transit first and pay $1.70 with a CharlieCard, you will get a free transfer to bus with your CharlieCard. With the CharlieCard you never pay more than a total of $1.70 for a trip that includes both local bus and rapid transit.

Can I still receive a discounted or free transfer between rapid transit and certain bus routes?

New transfer privileges are available between rapid transit and all local buses when paying with a CharlieCard. Customers paying with cash or a CharlieTicket pay the full fare to transfer.

Can I still receive a free transfer from the Silver Line Washington Street to the subway?

For CharlieCard holders, transfers between the Silver Line Washington Street and the subway will work the same as a transfer between the subway and any local bus route where the total fare to ride both services is $1.70. For customers paying with cash-on-board or a CharlieTicket, their total fare to ride both services is $2.00. Customers boarding the Silver Line Washington Street in the inbound direction pay $1.50 upon boarding and then $0.50 to transfer to the subway. If you are paying with cash-on-board, make sure to let your bus operator know that you want to transfer to the subway before you pay your fare. Your operator will ensure that you have the correct transfer ticket.

How do I get my free transfer from the subway to the Silver Line Washington Street if my trip starts on the surface Green Line, Silver Line Waterfront (including Logan Airport) or Mattapan High Speed Line and I pay with cash-on-board?

If you are paying with cash-on-board on any of the surface Green Line routes or the Mattapan High Speed Line, make sure to let your operator know that you′ll want to transfer to the Silver Line Washington Street before you pay your fare. Your operator will ensure that you have the correct transfer ticket.

Can I receive a discounted transfer between express bus and rapid transit or between express bus and local bus?

Yes, the cost to transfer to an express bus from either a local bus or rapid transit with a CharlieCard is the “step-up” in price. For example, with a CharlieCard, the rapid transit fare would be $1.70 and the inner express bus fare would be $2.80. The “step-up” price would thus be $1.10 to transfer from rapid transit to inner express bus. Transfers in the opposite direction (from express bus to local bus or rapid transit) would be free when paying with a CharlieCard.

Do I still receive a free transfer between the Mattapan High Speed Line and Red Line at Ashmont Station?

Yes, customers can still transfer for free between the Red Line and the Mattapan High Speed Line bus replacement service at Ashmont Station regardless of whether they pay with cash-on-board, a CharlieTicket, or a CharlieCard. For CharlieCard holders, transfers between the bus replacement service and the subway will work the same as a transfer between the subway and any other local bus route where the total fare to ride both services is $1.70. For customers paying with cash-on-board or a CharlieTicket, their total fare to ride both services is $2.00. Note that with bus replacement service, customers boarding in the inbound direction pay $1.50 upon boarding and then $0.50 to transfer to the Red Line. If you are paying with cash-on-board, make sure to let your bus operator know that you want to transfer to the subway before you pay your fare. Your operator will ensure that you have the correct transfer ticket. If you are transferring from the Red Line to the Mattapan High Speed Line bus replacement service and you used a CharlieTicket to enter the rapid transit system, that same Charlie Ticket will serve as your transfer to the bus.

How do I get my free transfer from the Red Line to the Mattapan High Speed Line if my trip starts on the surface Green Line or Silver Line and I pay with cash-on-board?

If you are paying with cash-on-board on any of the surface Green Line routes or the Silver Line, make sure to let your operator know that you′ll want to transfer to the Mattapan High Speed Line before you pay your fare. Your operator will ensure that you have the correct transfer ticket.

Can I receive a discounted transfer when transferring from the ferries?

The “step-up” transfer discount is not currently available on ferry services. When CharlieCards are made available to ferry customers, the “step-up” transfer discount will become available.

Can I receive a discounted transfer when transferring from commuter rail?

The “step-up” transfer discount is not currently available on commuter rail. When CharlieCards are made available to commuter rail customers, the “step-up” transfer discount will become available.

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Passes

What happened to the Visitor Passes?

Visitor passes have been turned into 1-Day and 7-Day LinkPasses, priced at $9.00 and $15.00, respectively. These passes operate on a rolling basis, meaning that they can be used for the respective number of days starting from when the passes are purchased.

Are passes sold for pre-defined days, weeks, or months, or are they rolling?

1-Day and 7-Day LinkPasses operate on a rolling basis, meaning that they can be used for the respective number of 24-hour periods starting from the time when the passes are purchased. For example, if a 7-Day LinkPass is purchased on a Thursday at 5:00 PM, it will be valid until the following Thursday at 5:00 PM. The monthly LinkPass is good for a pre-defined calendar month.

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Tokens

Can I still use Tokens to pay for my fare?

The MBTA will no longer sell tokens. However, if you still have tokens, they can be used in bus and Green Line fareboxes to pay part of your fare, or at fare vending machines to put value on a CharlieCard or CharlieTicket. The cash value of tokens will remain $1.25.

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  • Reduced Fares for Senior/T.A.P. Customers
  • Buy a Pass at a Fare Vending Machine
  • Charlie's Frequently Asked Questions
  • Get the Card